For those of you that have been following my story, you will remember that my leukemia (CML) diagnosis resulted during a routine checkup, following ovarian tumors that I had seven years ago. I continue to have regular checkups every six months and as of today, I am a bit overdue!
I briefly saw my doctor, the one that diagnosed me, when I was in the hospital in February. I have not seen him since. I am hoping that today’s visit will be uneventful and that no new issues will appear. Oddly enough, I have never been concerned when going to these appointments; I truly believe, that even though I had borderline ovarian tumors, and there is a chance that they will return (in a different location, of course) that they were removed and that is that. They are gone and will never return. I have never been concerned or worried. I thought that I “did” my big ticket item and that I was done. Ha! Jokes on me!! The irony of being diagnosed with leukemia during one of these visits is still boggling my mind.
Fast Forward: I saw my doctor yesterday and fortunately it was uneventful. Everything in “that” department looks A-OK. He told me that he is still astounded that I have leukemia and that in all of his years practicing medicine; he has never diagnosed a patient with a second cancer. He is a gynecological oncologist, so he sees and treats cancer patients every day. I almost think that he feels worse about my diagnosis than I do! He was just so shocked and empathetic; and the girls in his office, the same one that I have been seeing for years, just kept saying how blindsided and sorry they are; and how they just can’t stop talking about it. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. I believe that to them, I represent the reality that no one is invincible. We are all vulnerable and even the healthiest people can and do, get cancer. I am living proof of that.
When my ovarian tumors were discovered, also routinely, everyone thought that they would just turn out to be benign cysts. I was young(er), strong, healthy, ate well, exercised and did all of the “right” things. We were all quite surprised at just how sick I was. Fast forward seven years and I show up, for all intense and purposes, I looked, and was, healthy; a bit pale, but otherwise healthy. One blood test later and BAM; I am in the hospital with leukemia. So, I believe that to the girls in the office, as well as others, I represent the unexpected reality that your life can dramatically change at any given moment. No one is bulletproof.
Anyway, life goes on and I am happy to report that other than this stupid cancer; all is well in my world.